Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor We know him best for his unforgettable roles on Monty Python--from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life. Now, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theater, and film. Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie, and Robin Williams, all of whom became dear lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout involving other close friends and luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, and many more, as well as the Pythons themselves, Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal parts hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named for the song he wrote for Life of Brian (the film which he originally gave the irreverent title Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory) and that has since become the number one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the kind of offbeat humor that has delighted audiences for five decades. The year 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is marking the occasion with this hilarious memoir chock full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life featuring everyone from Princess Leia to Queen Elizabeth.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Details

TitleAlways Look on the Bright Side of Life
Author
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherCrown Archetype
ISBN-139781984822581
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Humor, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography Memoir

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Review

  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Always a Look on the Bright Side of Life is Eric Idle's sort of autobiography. Of course, we all know him as part of the fire-breathing comedic troupe, Monty Python, famed for a long running tv show and a series of uproariously funny movies that have become a part of our culture and collective memory. At its best, this book shines when Idle's wit comes out such as talking about his childhood in the orphanage and sneaking out. That's that sly British wit for ya. Once the troupe achieved success, Always a Look on the Bright Side of Life is Eric Idle's sort of autobiography. Of course, we all know him as part of the fire-breathing comedic troupe, Monty Python, famed for a long running tv show and a series of uproariously funny movies that have become a part of our culture and collective memory. At its best, this book shines when Idle's wit comes out such as talking about his childhood in the orphanage and sneaking out. That's that sly British wit for ya. Once the troupe achieved success, his life became like that of a rockstar and he constantly hung out with all the celebs. I would have liked to hear more about the creative development of the various skits and less of the hobnobbing. Surprisingly, he had a lifelong friendship with George Harrison who funded Life of Brian. Elvis was such a huge fan he apparently used to do some of the crazy voices. Many thanks to Penguin Publishing for providing a copy for review.
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  • Ericka Seidemann
    January 1, 1970
    I grew up watching Flying Circus, and loved it, even though I was really too young to understand or decipher the accents (“Spam” notwithstanding). I’ve passed my love of Monty Python onto my kids, even visiting Doune castle to buy coconuts and recreate Holy Grail (with my daughter playing Terry Gilliam, I as Graham Chapman), like thousands of other daft tourists. Your face will ache from smiling while reading this, and it’s chock full of name-dropping, which, TBH, is everyone’s secret shameful r I grew up watching Flying Circus, and loved it, even though I was really too young to understand or decipher the accents (“Spam” notwithstanding). I’ve passed my love of Monty Python onto my kids, even visiting Doune castle to buy coconuts and recreate Holy Grail (with my daughter playing Terry Gilliam, I as Graham Chapman), like thousands of other daft tourists. Your face will ache from smiling while reading this, and it’s chock full of name-dropping, which, TBH, is everyone’s secret shameful reason for reading a celebrity memoir (AmIRightAmIRight – NudgeNudge!) And there are lots of photos, which I appreciated. This book made me laugh out loud while I was sneak-reading at my kid’s Open House at his elementary school. Whoops. I loved all the anecdotes of Eric hanging out with famous people, and the backstory of how many sketches came to be. I even learned about some projects of his that I was unaware of, having been unfortunately born too late (stupid 1975) and in the wrong country (stupid Yank) to encounter many of them on the BBC. I paused many times while reading to get on YouTube and catch up.Eric’s kind heart is obvious, as shown through his endearing friendships with George Harrison and Robin Williams, not to mention all the Pythons. He’s had a rich life full of love and good friends. Laughter really does bring people together. I’d love to hang out with him sometime. I’ll even supply the booze. If you love Python, or saw the title of this book and began to whistle, or just know him as the guy from the Figment ride at DisneyWorld, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s entertaining, hilarious, and insightful. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin First to Read for the advance copy in exchange for my review.
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  • David Wineberg
    January 1, 1970
    Eric Idle doesn’t seem to know anyone who isn’t famous. Everywhere he goes or lives, the famous turn up as neighbors or partiers. If The Rolling Stones knock on the door at midnight, it’s just another night wherever the Idles happen to be. Elvis Presley a huge fan who imitates Monty Python characters in bed? Par for the course. Getting married in Lorne Michael’s midtown apartment followed by the reception at Paul Simon’s place, or living in Dan Aykroyd’s Bowery loft – just business as usual. How Eric Idle doesn’t seem to know anyone who isn’t famous. Everywhere he goes or lives, the famous turn up as neighbors or partiers. If The Rolling Stones knock on the door at midnight, it’s just another night wherever the Idles happen to be. Elvis Presley a huge fan who imitates Monty Python characters in bed? Par for the course. Getting married in Lorne Michael’s midtown apartment followed by the reception at Paul Simon’s place, or living in Dan Aykroyd’s Bowery loft – just business as usual. How about having dinner with Billy Connolly and Prince Charles calls and asks if could come over and join them. George Harrison wants to pop in for the Lumberjack song. It is endless. It even seems like everyone he went to school with became a prominent celebrity. They all helped each other achieve stardom. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, indeed.It reminds me of the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore sketch Bloody Greta Garbo. It’s too absurd to be remotely true, but that’s the life of Eric Idle. He says.This collection of memoirs is about as positive as anything can be. Idle got break after break, got swept along to bigger and better things and was continually invited to new ventures, where he succeeded to great acclaim his first time out, be it sketch writing, film, opera, records or Broadway. Oh. And everyone adores him. Idle loves adding adjectives before names. Everyone is amazing or wonderful, excellent or brilliant, fantastic or incomparable. The whole book is gossipy, teenage fandom style.All the time-worn stories the other Pythons tell are here, uncontradicted. How they pitched their TV series without a script, treatment, plan or even a name. And were instantly given the go-ahead for 13 episodes. At least they had to battle the establishment: “We didn’t know what we were doing, and insisted on doing it.” The Idles are never idle for long. Everyone is constantly inviting them to vacations in the South Pacific or the Caribbean, lending them houses in the south of France or Mustique or London or New York. David Bowie was kind and generous. So was Mick. And Robin. Most of all, George Harrison. There is not one mention of a fabulous get together at the Idle home.As you can tell from the title, the main achievement of his was the song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life that he wrote for Monty Pythons’ Life of Brian. It has become a part of life around the world. It is the number one piece played at funerals in the UK, for example. Sports fans sing it loud when their team is losing. What would Spamalot have been without it? It’s the Greensleeves of the 21st century.As Idle explains early on, there is an unending shelf of books, documentaries and products keeping the Monty Python myth alive. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is certainly one of them.David Wineberg
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this sortabiography, full of as much wit and panache as one would expect from a man who is among the living legends of comedy. He avoids oversentimentality in his look back at his career while still handling certain topics with appropriate gravity. Amusing and touching all at the same time and lest you think it too serious, it's an autobiography as only a Python could write, so there's plenty of silliness and button pushing. I read this book through Penguin's First to Read progr I really enjoyed this sortabiography, full of as much wit and panache as one would expect from a man who is among the living legends of comedy. He avoids oversentimentality in his look back at his career while still handling certain topics with appropriate gravity. Amusing and touching all at the same time and lest you think it too serious, it's an autobiography as only a Python could write, so there's plenty of silliness and button pushing. I read this book through Penguin's First to Read program
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  • Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
    January 1, 1970
    A confession -- I'm not a big Monty Python fan, although I enjoyed the skits back in the 70s, and I have never seen Life of Brian or the other movies. I keep meaning to, but evidently they are not a priority. So I expected to breeze through Eric Idle's memoir, picking the funny bits and moving on. Instead I read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting, (granted, I was on an 11 hour flight at the time) and enjoyed it very much. There were stories of how Idle gravitated to show business and A confession -- I'm not a big Monty Python fan, although I enjoyed the skits back in the 70s, and I have never seen Life of Brian or the other movies. I keep meaning to, but evidently they are not a priority. So I expected to breeze through Eric Idle's memoir, picking the funny bits and moving on. Instead I read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting, (granted, I was on an 11 hour flight at the time) and enjoyed it very much. There were stories of how Idle gravitated to show business and comedy, behind the scenes difficulties in trying to get six quirky individuals to work as a team, lots of name dropping, and general silliness. Recommended! (Thanks to Penguin First to Read for a digital review copy.)
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  • Paige Jeanty
    January 1, 1970
    Most well-known for his role on Monty Python, Eric Idle paved the way for comedy in the sixties and seventies. Through his memoir, he shares of his triumphs and trials in a hugely humorous and self-deprecating way. With a perfect balance between history, narrative, photos, and story-telling, Idle gives the readers a unique glance into a time where black and white suddenly turns to color, and British comedy leaves it's mark on the world. This light and enjoyable read takes the reader on a ride th Most well-known for his role on Monty Python, Eric Idle paved the way for comedy in the sixties and seventies. Through his memoir, he shares of his triumphs and trials in a hugely humorous and self-deprecating way. With a perfect balance between history, narrative, photos, and story-telling, Idle gives the readers a unique glance into a time where black and white suddenly turns to color, and British comedy leaves it's mark on the world. This light and enjoyable read takes the reader on a ride through history as told through the eyes of Eric Idle. I hate to admit that Monty Python is not something that I am super familiar with, though I have heard of it. After reading this smart and hilarious memoir, I spent an unhealthy amount of time looking up Eric Idle, the Monty Python, and other such memorable pieces from his time. Idle is a hoot, and it definitely shows through in his writing. This is such a beautiful tribute to his successes and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Monty Python. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves memoirs, laughing, comedy, and British fame and history. The added pictures inserted throughout the novel made this more of a diary than anything else, and I absolutely loved catching a glimpse of Idle's past.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer first - I received my copy of this book free as a first reads giveaway.I grew up on Monty Python's Flying Circus. I loved the movies. I got some of my friends into the movies. I introduced my own kids to the universe that is Monty Python. I wanted to LOVE this book, but I just can't give it more than 3 stars. There were so many things I learned (who knew George Harrison is basically the reason Life of Brian exists??? I did not know this.) and I didn't mind most of the name dropping be Disclaimer first - I received my copy of this book free as a first reads giveaway.I grew up on Monty Python's Flying Circus. I loved the movies. I got some of my friends into the movies. I introduced my own kids to the universe that is Monty Python. I wanted to LOVE this book, but I just can't give it more than 3 stars. There were so many things I learned (who knew George Harrison is basically the reason Life of Brian exists??? I did not know this.) and I didn't mind most of the name dropping because a lot of the time, I was an admirer of the person he was hobnobbing with. I didn't even mind the jet-setting vacations and experiences because if fame can't give you those opportunities, what's the point?Some of the name dropping was lost on me though. It was hard to try to work up enthusiasm when I didn't know who he was talking about. I skimmed those parts because I wasn't getting anything out of it.All of that said, I felt like I was reading something he put some serious thought into and I did learn a lot. His philosophy on what he's learned over time, how he feels about people, how he feels about his place in the world, was pretty cool. I would recommend this to the people in my tribe. The parts I was lost in, might not lose them. If you're appreciate the humor of the Pythons, you'll enjoy this one I think.
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  • Jill Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun book!! I am a bigger movie than television fan of the Python Boys, so must admit that a fair bit of the book sent me scurrying to Google and YouTube - but I'm a better person for it, by far... What Idle et al. managed to accomplish was nothing less phenomenal than what four lads from Liverpool did: changed the face of an art form. Idle writes exactly the way he speaks/acts, and his tales of the ups and downs of his career (and those of his friends - who are legion) made me laugh out l What a fun book!! I am a bigger movie than television fan of the Python Boys, so must admit that a fair bit of the book sent me scurrying to Google and YouTube - but I'm a better person for it, by far... What Idle et al. managed to accomplish was nothing less phenomenal than what four lads from Liverpool did: changed the face of an art form. Idle writes exactly the way he speaks/acts, and his tales of the ups and downs of his career (and those of his friends - who are legion) made me laugh out loud on a frequent basis. The book was a deliciously dishy and hilarious romp through the history of the Pythons and of London/UK counterculture over the years, and it was fun and funny and touching and an exceptionally enjoyable read. Thanks to the Penguin First to Read program for my review copy.
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  • Nina
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Monty Python from the beginning. I opened Idle’s book with a bit of trepidation, wondering if it was going to be a one-dimensional, flat on the page Python skit, yet hoping that Idle’s talent for storytelling would shine. And shine it does; Idle is an excellent writer as well as an engaging raconteur. His jokes and retorts come to life on their own, without being “performed live.” The book is a good mix of Python-like humor and memoir. Idle even manages to sneak in an especially funny li I loved Monty Python from the beginning. I opened Idle’s book with a bit of trepidation, wondering if it was going to be a one-dimensional, flat on the page Python skit, yet hoping that Idle’s talent for storytelling would shine. And shine it does; Idle is an excellent writer as well as an engaging raconteur. His jokes and retorts come to life on their own, without being “performed live.” The book is a good mix of Python-like humor and memoir. Idle even manages to sneak in an especially funny line about the current administration of the U.S. stealing an idea from Roger Waters’ staging for The Wall Tour.Woven throughout are stories relating to Idle’s close friendship with George Harrison, who had a more subtle, quiet but wicked, humor. He also describes encounters and events with many more friends (many, many). And ever since I picked up this book, that iconic line, that memorable tune, refuses to let go of my brain. Disclosure: I requested and received this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin Random House and First to Read for the Advance Galley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. If you are a fan of comedy, Monty Python, or fun biographies in general, this is a great book for you. Eric Idle tells his story and not just the story of the Pythons, which is refreshing. He also tells the story of the comedy scene in his youth and how it came to make him who he is today. I really enjoyed his conversational tone, wit, and how he organized things not by time Thank you to Penguin Random House and First to Read for the Advance Galley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. If you are a fan of comedy, Monty Python, or fun biographies in general, this is a great book for you. Eric Idle tells his story and not just the story of the Pythons, which is refreshing. He also tells the story of the comedy scene in his youth and how it came to make him who he is today. I really enjoyed his conversational tone, wit, and how he organized things not by time but by subject. This is a great read that will make you glad you read it.
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  • Adriana
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate that Idle starts out by saying that these are the facts as he (mostly) remembers them and that some things might not be as true as he'd like. It's a very honest way to start out what turns out to be a name-dropping bonanza of incredible life opportunities that he worked hard to earn and (at least it seems) like he totally deserved. He admits his errors and, even when glossing over some of them, admits fault when its his. As someone with more of a passing knowledge of Monty Python th I appreciate that Idle starts out by saying that these are the facts as he (mostly) remembers them and that some things might not be as true as he'd like. It's a very honest way to start out what turns out to be a name-dropping bonanza of incredible life opportunities that he worked hard to earn and (at least it seems) like he totally deserved. He admits his errors and, even when glossing over some of them, admits fault when its his. As someone with more of a passing knowledge of Monty Python than a true fan, there were things I'm not overly familiar with. I do have a list of things I will now look for because some of the sketches and events he mentions seem like they would really be right up my alley comedy-wise. If you are a big fan of MP, then this is sure to delight with tons of behind the scenes looks at how things came about and how they worked to make it happen. The opportunities that were open to them were spectacular. I did find the behind the scenes comradery a little hard to believe, but that's just me being cynical and the whole point of the book is that Idle does indeed have a very positive "look on the bright side" attitude. Overall, it's a look at Monty Python thru the eyes of one of my favorite members as he tells his side of the story and the things he did in between the rare get together. It made me chuckle several times, it gave a look at a decade that made friends of some legendary individuals, and it proves that Eric Idle can indeed write anything and make it entertaining.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Having been raised on Monty Python at an early age, I could not have been more delighted to read about its beginnings and that of one of its founders, Eric Idle. We already know what a comic genius he is but as an added bonus you are privy to fantastic stories about most of the biggest names in show business and their unusual connection to Pythons and Eric Idle. These are not stories of stars passing each other at a party but instead, these remarkable and talented people became close friends - t Having been raised on Monty Python at an early age, I could not have been more delighted to read about its beginnings and that of one of its founders, Eric Idle. We already know what a comic genius he is but as an added bonus you are privy to fantastic stories about most of the biggest names in show business and their unusual connection to Pythons and Eric Idle. These are not stories of stars passing each other at a party but instead, these remarkable and talented people became close friends - the kind that you spend the holidays with and attend weddings, visit and last but not least, invest in whatever that incredibly funny group of loonies is doing. What struck me most about this very funny book was not the name-dropping or goofy stories but the fact that he truly loves his friends and their time together. How refreshing to find a tell-all book that tells all about lifelong friendships and that he lives by his credo - always look on the bright side of life. My kind of sortabiography! Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Jean Kolinofsky
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of Monty Python, I was looking forward to reading this book. My only disappointment was that I sped through the book and it was over too soon. Idle has written a memoir that is witty, charming and a tribute to his fellow Pythons.As the great-grandchild of a ringmaster and circus manager, show business was in his blood. His early experiences at a comedy club would unknowingly introduce him to other members of what would become Monty Python.there are few comedians that were not mentioned As a fan of Monty Python, I was looking forward to reading this book. My only disappointment was that I sped through the book and it was over too soon. Idle has written a memoir that is witty, charming and a tribute to his fellow Pythons.As the great-grandchild of a ringmaster and circus manager, show business was in his blood. His early experiences at a comedy club would unknowingly introduce him to other members of what would become Monty Python.there are few comedians that were not mentioned as either friends or acquaintances. He reflects on the good times with friends as well as the losses of Graham Chapman and Robin Williams. Perhaps his greatest loss occurred with the death of George Harrison. As close friends, it was Harrison who enabled them to make The Life of Brian. His tribute to this friend was touching and you could feel his deep sense of loss.Always Look on the Bright Side of Life became a number one song in Britain. The title reflects Idle’s attitude throughout the book and at times I found myself humming the tune as I read. If a book can involve me to that extent then I have no trouble highly recommending it.I would like to thank First to Read for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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  • Elizabeth Davis
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this title from the Penguin Random House's First to Read.As a fan of Monty Python and Eric Idle's comedy in general, I enjoyed Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. His rich collection of personal stories with a plethora of celebrities and contemporaries are both interesting and enjoyable. His loving tributes to the stellar David Bowie, the ethereal George Harrison, and the brilliant Robin Williams are not only touching but truly inspired. I felt their absence in the prese I received an ARC of this title from the Penguin Random House's First to Read.As a fan of Monty Python and Eric Idle's comedy in general, I enjoyed Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. His rich collection of personal stories with a plethora of celebrities and contemporaries are both interesting and enjoyable. His loving tributes to the stellar David Bowie, the ethereal George Harrison, and the brilliant Robin Williams are not only touching but truly inspired. I felt their absence in the present while reading about their presence and importance in Idle's life. While I did not realize that this title mainly contained the history surrounding the song (written for the Monty Python film The Life of Brian), it did not belittle or demean the work in any way. Idle's humor and wit is evident on every page. I cannot remember the last time I have actually laughed out loud at printed text, and he had me laughing multiple times. I know that this is a partial history, and I still loved it. I have not read any of his other titles, and this selection only increased my desire to learn more.
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  • R.K. Cowles
    January 1, 1970
    3 3/4 stars
  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    Eric Idle is a man who became famous quite young and knows many other famous people, like George Harrison, Robin Williams, and David Bowie. Idle came from a poor background and got to go to Cambridge because of his high intelligence. Ultimately it’s a high-gloss depiction of Eric Idle’s career and amusing things he’s said and written, an entertaining story about a wildly funny man’s success.
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  • Melissa Morgan-Oakes
    January 1, 1970
    Entertaining, witty and at times self-indulgent (as autobiography should be?) with enough names dropped to fill a swimming pool, and stories told to piss off just about everyone one way or another (Michael is my favorite and I will not hear evil spoken in that quarter so my moment came about page 193), endless Python references - which, if they don't have you searching ways to queue up a watching binge, there is simply no hope for you - and even a few photos for those who can't read. In all, I d Entertaining, witty and at times self-indulgent (as autobiography should be?) with enough names dropped to fill a swimming pool, and stories told to piss off just about everyone one way or another (Michael is my favorite and I will not hear evil spoken in that quarter so my moment came about page 193), endless Python references - which, if they don't have you searching ways to queue up a watching binge, there is simply no hope for you - and even a few photos for those who can't read. In all, I don't feel I've wasted my time on it. In fact, for a couple chapters I couldn't put the thing down.
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  • Rosi
    January 1, 1970
    The description says: Funny, wit, candor. I could not find any of those things. I found George Harrison's name...plenty of times!!! IMHO this was a boring shout out that Eric Idle wrote to have people believe that he was the comic and leading force behind Python, that John Cleese was/is a moody dick and that he (Idle) knows famous people. I already knew #2 and #3. #1, well...... Just don't expect humor. I would not recommend. I could not even finish the book. Read just a little over half.
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  • Jordan Finch
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe I just haven't watched enough Monty Python, maybe I'm just not familiar enough with all the various major players of the time period, but Always Look on the Bright Side of Life just wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments--Idle is a world-renowned comedian for a reason--and the history of the Pythons was interesting, but I found myself skimming pages here and there to get past all the name dropping. That being said, I did find Idle Maybe I just haven't watched enough Monty Python, maybe I'm just not familiar enough with all the various major players of the time period, but Always Look on the Bright Side of Life just wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments--Idle is a world-renowned comedian for a reason--and the history of the Pythons was interesting, but I found myself skimming pages here and there to get past all the name dropping. That being said, I did find Idle's relationship with a handful of other celebrities interesting. For instance, I had no idea that Idle and George Harrison were such good friends, and it was fun to learn more about their history and see just how important Harrison was in a number of Python pursuits. Likewise, the friendship between Idle and Robin Williams was bittersweet, but Idle shares a number of touching stories about his fellow comedian that reminded me that so much pain and suffering can be hidden behind a smile and a few jokes.Really, I think that my unfamiliarity with so much of the Python's repertoire and their history was what kept me from liking this book more, and rather than filling in holes in my knowledge or making me want to dig in and learn more, Idle's recollections just sort of made me say, "Meh." I do think devoted Python fans will love this sortabiography, but it wasn't for me.*Thanks to Penguin's First to Read for the advance copy of this book.*
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  • Bryan Summers
    January 1, 1970
    I was a huge Monty Python fan growing up so when I got the ARC for this I was thrilled. I've never understood why people get annoyed by name dropping. If you hang out with George Harrison and Robin Williams I want to hear about it. I read biographies because of the name dropping.
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  • Stuart Rodriguez
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the absolute hell out of this book. “Sortabiography” is right—this isn’t an exact point-A-to-point-B autobiography so much as it is a collection of related events in mostly chronological order. Idle spends most of the book looking at his pre- and post-Flying Circus career, and the friendships and relationships he made therein. His wit and sense of humor shine, and I’d heartily recommend this for any Python fan.
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, has the best of everything you want in a Sortabiography. Eric Idle is funny as you would expect, but he is also honest, and of course there is the gossipy name dropping you were hoping for. He tells us about his relationships with the Pythons, as well as many other notables, George Harrison, David Bowie, Robin Williams, just to name a few. Lots of little tidbits that many people may not know. Which rocker mortgaged their home to finance a Python movie just Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, has the best of everything you want in a Sortabiography. Eric Idle is funny as you would expect, but he is also honest, and of course there is the gossipy name dropping you were hoping for. He tells us about his relationships with the Pythons, as well as many other notables, George Harrison, David Bowie, Robin Williams, just to name a few. Lots of little tidbits that many people may not know. Which rocker mortgaged their home to finance a Python movie just because he wanted to see it? How were the scripts written for Python? Where in the world is Mt. Cleese?This book will have you wanting to re-watch The Holy Grail and Life of Brian as well as the old Python skits, and searching out some of the productions he mentions that you may have missed. Just a bit of advice, never ask him if you can take a selfie with him, and don't read this book where it isn't okay to laugh out loud, because you will be laughing. This is a must read for any Python fan. Nudge, nudge.
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  • Jim Razinha
    January 1, 1970
    I am so grateful to the publisher and First to Read for a copy of an uncorrected proof of this! My favorite Python! John is a close second, and I'd read his autobiography...in his voice, so I jumped at the chance to read this...in Eric's voice, of course. Steve Martin said of Idle's novel The Road the Mars."I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book."Idle had me laughing literally out loud several times before he'd gotten out of the introduction (titled "An Apology"). Of course, the life whose I am so grateful to the publisher and First to Read for a copy of an uncorrected proof of this! My favorite Python! John is a close second, and I'd read his autobiography...in his voice, so I jumped at the chance to read this...in Eric's voice, of course. Steve Martin said of Idle's novel The Road the Mars."I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book."Idle had me laughing literally out loud several times before he'd gotten out of the introduction (titled "An Apology"). Of course, the life whose bright side he sings of looking at enters and it's not all rosy, but even when he shares devastation at the loss of dear friends, he bounces back. He's candid, human, obviously quite funny, amazingly connected ("I once tried registering [in a hotel under a fake name] as Meryl Streep, but then I felt guilty because she is so damn nice and smart. Notice how cleverly I introduced the fact that I know her. That's name-dropping at its finest, as I said to Prince Charles only the other day.") Really, he is amazingly connected. The number of people he's worked with, been friends with, got invited to cruises on their huge yachts with,......amazing.Steve Martin said in his blurb for Idle's novel The Road the Mars."I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book." You'll laugh, maybe cry while you read this book.Endearing, funny, enlightening, and endearing. Yes, I said that twice. When this comes out, get it. You'll be glad you did. Though the song will echo for days. But there are worse earworms.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    If your a Python fan this is a must read. This is about his life and friendships...loved it.
  • Jenny T.
    January 1, 1970
    This book hits the highlights of Eric Idle's life in humorous fashion accompanied by quite a bit of celebrity name dropping. It was fun to read about the Monty Python days with the movies that followed, the Rutles, and Spamalot. I also enjoyed reading the various times "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was performed and how the public uses it (sporting events, funerals, etc). A great read for many laughs!Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book.
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  • Norma
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. Period. Say no more.
  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    Pop Idle!There has been so much written and documented about the Pythons that I wasn’t totally sure I would enjoy this. In the end it was a real joy, some old stories with a new slant and plenty that I had never heard. This is a positive and uplifting story that seems to flash past all too fast. I think it’s so typical of the man that I’ve read the story of his life and I am left wanting more. If I was to make any complaint about this it’s just that, it’s too short for me. Major events seemed to Pop Idle!There has been so much written and documented about the Pythons that I wasn’t totally sure I would enjoy this. In the end it was a real joy, some old stories with a new slant and plenty that I had never heard. This is a positive and uplifting story that seems to flash past all too fast. I think it’s so typical of the man that I’ve read the story of his life and I am left wanting more. If I was to make any complaint about this it’s just that, it’s too short for me. Major events seemed to come and go all too quickly because he may be Idle by name but he certainly isn’t idle by nature! He has packed so much variety into his life in comedy. If name-dropping was an Olympic sport Idle would have a string of gold medals, it’s amazing to hear about the people he is able to call friends from Rolling Stones to flying Beatles! If I have a favourite of all the stories it is one about Leslie Nielsen and how he manages to avoid talking to people in lifts. And as I am no great Python expert I was very surprised to hear the stories about one of their greatest ever fans and his Pepperpot bedroom antics! As I’ve always thought when listening to autobiographies in an audio format it’s best coming from the horse’s mouth and so it proves here too. Idle’s voice gives a very positive tone to what is a very positive story.When it comes to comedy in the UK we have some of the most amazing real-life characters and in these days when there can be a tendency to talk our country down it’s fantastic to be reminded of one of our genuine national treasures. As I said, my only criticism is that I finished wanting more but maybe it’s a mark of the man that he didn’t get too carried away when writing his own life story! This is definitely about looking mostly on the bright side of a life.
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    Penguin First-to-Read ARC.I enjoyed this book but probably would have liked it more as an audiobook with Idle narrating. Much like I enjoyed John Cleese's So...Anyway with himself narrating. Adds so much more fun and flair and personality! But this was a good, short sorta autobiography of one of Monty Python's most recognizable members!
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